Fenix L1D-CE and L2D-CE

Provided for review
by the kind folks at:

5 Stars

Light Type: Cree XR-E LED
Light Class: Outdoor / Rough Use / General

The Fenix L1D and L2D are the adjustable output Cree LED versions of the Fenix L1 and L2 series. They use a Cree XR-E high output, high efficiency LED (about double the efficiency of earlier Luxeon LEDs) as a light source. The L1D/L2D are powered with simple, easy to find AA alkaline, but can use rechargeable cells or high output L91 Lithium AA cells. They are small and lightweight and have a type III anodize hard coat finish. The only difference between the two lights is the body, and as a result, the power source. Both use the same exact head, which contains the circuitry and LED. The circuitry adjusts to the use of either one or two AA cells which can be either alkaline, NiMH or lithium, up to 4 Volts total.

Body: The body of the Fenix L1D/L2D is machined aluminum with the more durable type III hard anodize finish and is available in black only. The outside of the L1D body has rings and textured areas machined into the surface to help with grip and you will also find flat panels around the central area of the body for texture and display of the company logos. The L2D is a little different in that it has a couple of steps in the body near the talicap to facilitate ease of grip. The tailcap has a textured area for grip as well as a recessed switch for standing on end and a lanyard attachment point. A wrist lanyard can be attached and several other accessories are included with the light.

Bezel/Head: The head of the L1D/L2D includes a coated glass lens, a metal reflector, a Cree XR-E LED, and a regulator circuit, all permanently installed. The lens is slightly recessed which serves as some protection from impact and abrasion. The LED is nicely centered in the reflector.

Output: Output is very good. Using alkaline cells, output is partially regulated. NiMH and lithium cells are expected to provide more regulated output. The beam is very smooth with a brighter center and a wide soft spillbeam.

The white light produced by the LED is a high color temperature and produces good color rendition.

Output is variable with the L1D/L2D models, and the adjustment is done in a very different way. To use "Turbo" mode (Max/Strobe), simply make sure the head is tight against the body. To switch betwen Max and Strobe, partially press the tail switch in until the light blinks off. When you release the switch the light will be in the next mode. To use "General" mode (Low/Medium/High/SOS), make sure the head is not tight against the body tube - loosen it 1/2 turn from tight - then half-press the switch as described earlier to switch between modes. To quickly put the light in Max mode, just tighten the head again while keeping the light on. Dimming is achieved with constant current regulation circuit which means there is no flickering of the LED in dim modes.

If the light is turned off for 2 seconds or more, the modes reset, starting from the beginning again the next time you turn the light on.

L1D-CE, Alkaline Rayovac AA:

Runtime hrs. (advertised)
L1D low
270 (16.43)
817 (8.17)
L1D med
887 (29.78)
2730 (27.30)
L1D high
1300 (36.06)*
4450 (44.50)*
L1D max
1300 (36.06)*
4450 (44.50)*

All throw readings are in Lux at one meter. The numbers in parenthesis are for comparison in the Comparison Charts.

*NOTE: Earlier I reported the L1D High was very slightly brighter than the Max setting. I took the readings twice and got the same results. Near as I can figure I had changed the position of the light in the rig just enough to affect the readings. Multiple additional readings show that the output is the same with alkaline cells in both levels. The chart above has been updated.

L2D-CE, Alkaline Rayovac AA:

Runtime hrs. (advertised)
L2D low
288 (16.97)
855 (8.55)
L2D med
870 (29.50)
2450 (24.50)
L2D high
1730 (41.59)
5000 (50.00)
L2D max
2980 (54.58)
8800 (88.00)

All throw readings are in Lux at one meter. The numbers in parenthesis are for comparison in the Comparison Charts.

Yes, you are reading that correctly - 88.00 overall output on Max with two AA cells. The L2D-CE is brighter than a 5W Surefire L2 on high. Brighter than a Streamlight Stinger, too. These new Cree LEDs are amazing.

By swapping the heads back and forth between the lights I found some performance differences between the heads. Hence why the Medium setting on the 2 cell is slightly lower than the 1 cell.

Output tests were also done with Eneloop NiMH and Lithium L91 cells. On average they seem to have have about the same throw/output numbers as fresh alkaline cells. Only slight variations were found. I think we'll only really see the difference in performance of the cells in the runtimes and decline rate of the output graphs.

Beam at one meter at target center - the picture does not do it justice.

Runtime Plots: All of the runtime data is courtesy of, and used with permission from, Roger H. (a.k.a. Chevrofreak on CPF). Thanks, Roger, for allowing the use of your work (it saved me a huge amount of time and effort, for sure)! He completed runtimes with L91 lithium cells, 2650mAh rechargeables and regular alkaline cells for each of the three output levels.

L1D - 1 Cell:

L1D Time to 50% Starting Ouput
Battery Type
Lithium AA L91
31 hr 57 min
7 hr 14 min
2 hr 06 min
2 hr 01 min
NiMH 2650mAh
23 hr 43 min
5 hr 24 min
1 hr 56 min
1 hr 50 min
Alkaline AA
19 hr 22 min
1 hr 47 min
0 hr 34 min
0 hr 31 min
All data © Roger H. (Chevrofreak) - used with permission

L2D - 2 Cell:

L2D Time to 50% Starting Ouput
Battery Type
Lithium AA L91
86 hr 06 min
16 hr 21 min
6 hr 26 min
2 hr 21 min
NiMH 2650mAh
59 hr 49 min
12 hr 25 min
4 hr 51 min
1 hr 50 min
Alkaline AA
59 hr 13 min
7 hr 25 min
1 hr 41 min
0 hr 41 min
All data © Roger H. (Chevrofreak) - used with permission

Here they are in the order of the lighting modes:

L1D LOW Runtime:

All data © Roger H. (Chevrofreak) - used with permission

L1D MEDIUM Runtime:

All data © Roger H. (Chevrofreak) - used with permission

L1D HIGH Runtime:

All data © Roger H. (Chevrofreak) - used with permission

L1D MAX Runtime:

All data © Roger H. (Chevrofreak) - used with permission

L2D LOW Runtime:

All data © Roger H. (Chevrofreak) - used with permission

L2D MEDIUM Runtime:

All data © Roger H. (Chevrofreak) - used with permission

L2D HIGH Runtime:

All data © Roger H. (Chevrofreak) - used with permission

L2D MAX Runtime:

All data © Roger H. (Chevrofreak) - used with permission


Switch: The tail switch is a rubber covered clickie and is fully recessed in the tailcap which allows the light to stand on end and be used as an electric candle. Despite the fact that the switch is recessed, it is very easy to use. Click on, click off. You can lock-out the switch by unscrewing the tailcap 1/2 turn. This will prevent accidental activation when packing the light in your backpack or luggage.

Seals / Water Resistance: The lights are protected from the environment by an o-ring at both ends of the body tube, a rubber switch cover and a sealed bezel. Fenix advertises the light as "waterproof" with no specific depth rating. I would call it "dunkable" but not "diveable".

If either gets wet inside, just disassemble as much a possible without tools and let dry before using again.

Ergonomics: Nothing special to report here, except that both small and easy to carry. Obviously the L1D is smaller and easier to pocket.

Size compared to a common 2AA aluminum light

Batteries: For batteries, this light is approved by the manufacturer for use with AA alkaline, AA rechargeable NiMH cells, and AA L91 Lithium cells. All others are at your own risk. The input voltage for the Fenix L1D/L2D head is is not given.

To change out the batteries: unscrew the tailcap, drop out the old cells, place in new cells observing proper polarity. Reattach the tailcap and you're ready to go.

Accessories: Several accessories are included with the light. Inside the package you will find spare O-rings, a spare rubber switch boot, a wrist lanyard, and a belt sheath.

What I Liked: Waterproof, Tough/impact resistant, Good battery life, Bright, Easy battery change, Lightweight, Stands up, Multiple output modes

What I Didn't Like: Nothing at all.

Picky Little Things: None

Conclusions: Fantastic output and versatility. It's really hard to go wrong with these. The two cell version is likely going to replace my A2 as my high output / variable output choice for travel and utility.

Quick Facts Table:

Item Reviewed.......................... Fenix L1D/L2D
Review Date ............................. February 2007
Country of Origin ...................... China
Case Material ........................... Anodized Type III aluminum
Case Features .......................... Faceted sides around center, texture around tailcap, lanyard attachment
Case Access Type .................... Unscrew Tailcap
Switch Type ............................. Clickie (reverse-type)
Reflector Type ......................... Polished metal
Lens Type ................................ Coated glass
Bulb Type ................................. Cree XR-E LED
Beam Type ............................... Spot
Beam Characteristics ............... Central smooth spot with slight corona and wide spillbeam
Throw (Lux) at 1m (click for description) see table above
Overall Output (click for description) see table above
Battery / Power Type................ 1 or 2 x AA - alkaline, NiMH, L91 lithium.
Battery Life (advertised) ........... see table above
Battery Life (test results) ........... see charts above
Environmental Protection ......... O-ring seals, dunkable
Weight (oz.) with batteries ....... L1D: 2.6 oz., L2D: 3.7 oz. (need to convert to grams?)
Special Items of Note ............... Many accessories included
Warranty .................................. Limited lifetime
Retail Cost ................................ L1D: 52.00 US$ at time of review at Fenixgear.com
L2D: 55.00 US$ at time of review at Fenixgear.com


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